He did that thing where you just keep chewing and don’t make eye contact. But I could tell. Dinner was a bust. I tried and it didn’t work out. It wasn’t salty – it wasn’t supposed to be – but it wasn’t spicy either. Even though I used all the pots and pans and had nine million dishes to do, it wasn’t that great. Little Sister asked if she could have something good for dinner instead, something like a jelly sandwich (yes, strawberry jelly on two slices of crust less bread was a step up from a dish that took me an hour to prepare). I was irritated beyond belief. It took so long! I bought all the ingredients! And it took long.
Guess what? Staying in a rotten mood because something didn’t turn out the way I wanted has benefitted me exactly zero times. It’s made me more enjoyable to be around a grand total of never. I did the dishes and went to pull in the laundry where I spied the grass dying in the backyard amidst the errant weeds and dog-you-know-what that I hadn’t scooped yet. I deserved to be mad. The stupid laundry, the stupid grass, the stupid – well, you get it. It wasn’t me, right? It couldn’t be me.
I took the laundry down while my husband made games out of sight word problems Little Sister didn’t want to tackle. Then I cleaned up after the dog while he patiently helped Big Sister with her homework and I listened to them joke around while I watered the plants and the back yard. I had almost missed out on one of my favorite times of the day – sunset – with my family all around me doing one of the most relaxing things ever – watering the plants. (For the record, of course, the hose kinked three times and yes, I walked face first into a spider web before remembering the cardinal rule of karate chopping the air around me when I could no longer see). But I love the sound the water makes when it hits the elephant ears and trickles down the trunks of the coconut palms. For a handful of minutes I forgave myself for my jerky attitude and my apparent neglect of one of my favorite places.
It doesn’t always work out. Even when it’s only a few days into the New Year. Sometimes, dinner sucks. Sometimes, there is proof that you “let” another thing slide. Sometimes you have to put on your big girl pants and deal with it anyway. All around me every one is repping their #goals and #blessings and instead of rolling my eyes I should #lookformyown and #getoffinstagram. Because having someone say thank you for a meal that they didn’t even like and rub your shoulders is blessing and space of one’s own with things that grow with water and care is a goal.